Colonials earn win in home opener against Tigers


Photo credit: David Auth

Sarah Heastings

The Robert Morris University Colonials women’s ice hockey team won their home opener against the RIT Tigers Friday night at the RMU Island Sports Center.

The Colonials stunned the visiting Tigers, blowing away the competition 6-1. RMU said that the “floodgates opened” in the second period, and the Colonials took their opportunity. The Colonials also set a new program record with 65 shots on goal.

“The floodgates finally opened,” said Howard. “Keep crisp, get pucks on net, see lanes, and move our feet. We don’t want to be stationary.”

Howard further explained that it is not just one person’s responsibility, but the entire team. From forwards, defenders, and netminders, everyone has to step up and contribute.

The Tigers were able to keep the Colonials silent in the first period, holding the game scoreless. However, RMU freshman Emily Curlett was determined to change that. The Colonials set up Curlett for a blazing slap shot on the power play early in the second period. The Tigers netminder never knew what hit her.

Up 1-0, the Colonials knew they couldn’t stay stagnant. The team’s motto is “You’re only as good as your last shift.” To get the puck in the back of the net, RMU needed to elevate their game.

Junior defender and assistant captain Kirsten Welsh set the bar high for her teammates as she hammered another one into the net six minutes later.

“(Katherine)Murphy gave me the perfect pass at the perfect speed,” said Welsh of her goal. “I hammered it through and it got through to the net.”

RIT would answer just a minute later to cut the lead in half. The second period would end at 2-1 in favor of the Colonials.

In the third period, the metaphorical floodgates opened wide, and the Colonials laid the points thick on the struggling Tigers.

Within three minutes of the opening faceoff, the Colonials scored three unanswered goals. The first two came from redshirt senior Brittany Howard, one on the powerplay and the other at even strength. The third came from Howard’s linemate, junior Amber Rennie at even strength.

The Howard, Rennie, Gebhard line is proving to be just as formidable of a powerhouse as the were last season.

The Tigers tried to comeback, throwing their weight around the ice. The two teams sent numerous players to the box for roughing penalties, and two fights broke out in the final period alone.

Freshman Lexi Templeman would round out the night with a goal, ending the scoring at 6-1 RMU.

With the first home game out of the way, the Colonials are looking forward to creating another winning season at the Island.

“There was energy in the changing room,” said Howard of the atmosphere before the game. “Everyone was just excited. There were a little bit of nerves in the changing room, but once we got on the ice we were all good to go.”

The Colonials attribute their success to their confidence in each other.

“It’s phenomenal,” said Welsh on playing with her teammates. “It’s a very healthy relationship. We all love each other like family.”

The Colonials are set to match up again against the Tigers Saturday afternoon at 3:05 pm at the RMU Island Sports Center.